What exactly happens to smartphones separated from their owners? To find out, Symantec “lost” 50 smart phones around New York City and remotely tracked them. Read on to see what happened to the phones.
Fifty phones were loaded with fake personal and corporate information, then left in public locations around New York City. Using remote software, Symantec researchers then tracked what exactly happened to the phones after they were released into the wild. Here are some of the stats from their white paper:
72% of the people who found a smartphone looked at the photos on the phone
43% opened banking/financial applications on the phone
57% looked at a list of saved logins/passwords
50% of the phones were returned
It’s safe to assume that someone who finds a phone will turn the phone on (whether they intend to return it or not) if for no other reason than to access the phone book to attempt to call the owner. What’s unsettling about their findings is that the finders, even among the benevolent ones that attempted to return the phones, combed through personal data on the phone accessing everything from photos to passwords to corporate data.
So what do the study authors recommend? While most of their recommendations are geared towards corporate users, it’s still wise to heed their suggestion to use a lock screen and have some sort of system in place (in advance!) for dealing with a lost phone (such as installing remote wipe software Android Lost or learning how to use the iPhone’s Remote Wipe feature). Hit up the link below to read the entire study.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 03/14/12